England Ladies Finish Fourth in the 2014 World Angling Championship
The reigning world champs lose their crown on the River Sorria in Portugal.
Source: Angling Trust
The England Ladies team went into the 21st World Angling Championship on the River Sorria, Portugal as reigning champions after winning in Slovenia last year, but failed to make the podium after finishing in fourth place.
The venue was fairly well known to English anglers after hosting a number of senior and junior events over the last few years, but fishing had changed dramatically as the bleak and carrassio, absent in the past, suddenly made an appearance resulting in a huge tactical rethink for the English management team. Small barbel and mullet were still there, but the downstream sections produced a big head of carrassio with Italian dual world champion Simona Pollastri winning A section with 10.501 kilos.
Fishing wagglers up to 20g at distance during practice the England ladies caught a few small barbel using 22/24 hooks to 0.10 or 0.12 hook lengths with single or double maggot as bait. Bleak were a ‘nuisance’ at times’ even at 40 yards, but by changing to short lining with a 6 metre pole the team could target them and, combined with the waggler, found that a reasonable weight could be achieved.
As it turned out bleak became very important in the team results as three out of the top four teams targeted them at some stage in the match. Eventual winners Italy fished for them in most sections for the first hour before changing to 6 metre or 11.5 metre pole later in the match.
The waggler approach did continue to produce a few fish in some areas, but it was not a method that produced good points in every section. The odd mullet made an appearance and although they couldn’t be targeted specifically they became a great bonus weight builder because their average size was much bigger than that of the barbel.
The draw on day one did not do any favours for team England with three of their anglers in unfancied areas and Italy powered to an impressive 14 point tally leaving all the other countries floundering in their wake.
Day One Team Results:
1st Italy 14 points
2nd France 24 points
3rd Portugal 26 points
(7th England 33 points)
With only 13 teams in this year’s competition it was going to be difficult to make the podium after finishing in 7th place on day one, but after last year’s comeback from 8th to being crowned winners the team knew that anything was possible.
A better draw was needed and in a couple of sections they had just that. Making her England début, 20 year old Abbi Kendall enhanced her future international career by winning section E to help the team to 3rd place on the day and 4th overall. It was a great second day performance that nearly got the Ladies on the podium, but with Italy winning the day and France maintaining 2nd it was too big a mountain to climb to get past Portugal in 3rd and England had to settle for 4th spot.
With Italy so dominant over the two days it was surprising that they did not finish higher than third in the individual stakes, but a fantastic performance by Barna Walter and a tremendous bleak catching exhibition from France's Valerie Nadin pushed Italian angler Silvina Torrini into bronze position.
Overall team results:
1st Italy 26 points
2nd France 40 points
3rd Portugal 45 points
4th England 52 points
Overall individual results:
1st Barna Walter. Hungary. 3 points 8.167
2nd Valerie Nadan. France. 3 points 6.151
3rd Silvina Torrini. Italy. 4 points
England team manager Dave Brooks said:
“I am extremely pleased with our second day’s performance and given a better draw on day one we would surely have made the podium. I am also delighted for Abbi Kendall who made an excellent début in winning section E on the second day and I am sure it will have given her a great confidence boost for the future. I would also like to thank all the people and companies who contributed to our fundraising as without them it would have made competing extremely difficult. It also goes without saying that without the help of Joe Roberts, Jason Kirk and Rob Wright things would have been even more difficult.”
Dick Clegg, ATr International Events Manager commented:
“Once more the ladies team worked together tremendously well and their approach to everything was excellent. In very difficult weather conditions that are rarely, if ever, seen in England the whole squad practised and fished in temperatures well into the mid-thirties.
I would like to thank all the team and squad members for representing England and the Angling Trust in such a professional manner and I know that a podium place awaits in Belgium next year.”